A healthy small group is comprised of 3-12 persons who have chosen to live together in biblical community
for the purposes of Christ-centered worship, edification, relational evangelism, and discipleship.
Below the definition, these clarifying paragraphs were added:
The ministry between group members is found both inside and outside the meetings as they serve, pray, care for, and edify one another. The small group meetings are often a “discovery time” for ministry in the six days and twenty-two hours between gatherings.
The mission of a healthy small group takes place when two or more of the members befriend unchurched individuals to show them the love of Christ through friendship, servanthood, and community involvement.
The goal of a healthy small group is to help each member find personal transformation in Christ. When transformation takes place in the life of a believer, he or she discovers a new self-perception in being a minister and a missionary.
The results of a healthy small group are found in its fruits: members who walk in spiritual freedom and are mission-driven; the addition of new believers who have trusted Christ as a result of the group’s relational nature; and new leaders who desire to first serve as new group leaders, then go on to lead in every capacity God desires.
In healthy small groups, the leader’s overarching goal for each member is similar to a parent. His or her desire is to see the members mature to the point of moving out of the leader’s “house” to form a spiritual family of their own. Healthy small group leaders work toward and expect a legacy from their efforts and dedication. In turn, the members desire to exercise their spiritual maturity and lead a group when they are ready.
Small groups may meet in any location and at any time. The important factor is for the group to meet regularly for worship, edification, application of the Word, and planning for effective outreach to the lost. Healthy small groups are compelled to change the location, frequency, or time of meetings if they see any of these purposes suffering.